Pearson PTE Academic, the computer-based academic English language test aimed at non-native English speakers wanting to study abroad, has opened its first ever test centre in the Republic of Ireland this month.
Global English test IELTS has rolled out a new biometric identity authentication system that will incorporate a finger scan and high resolution photo of all test takers in jurisdictions where it is permitted. The company said that governments had welcomed the security upgrade and test-takers appreciated the swifter process.
A record two million International English Language Testing System (IELTS) tests were taken worldwide over the last 12 months, representing an 11% rise. The US was singled out for mention as a growth market – a shot across TOEFL’s bows given that test’s dominance in the American market.
English Australia honoured outstanding contributors to the Australian English language sector at its annual conference in September. Awards covered areas such as contribution to professional practice, academic leadership and research in the English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students (ELICOS) sector.
IELTS has named Zachary Johnson as the new CEO to head up operations in the USA with a bid to grow test takers and recognition in the USA, where the English language testing company has had an office since 2000. Johnson previously worked at technology company Blackboard Inc. and will oversee an expansion in test centres in the States.
More than 1.7 million sat the IELTS test in 2011, making it the world’s most popular academic English language test according to its owners. The USA and East Asia were the fastest growing markets for the test, with a large rise in test-takers within the USA as well as India and China.
The IELTS monopoly of the testing of student visa applicants in Australia ended last month, as the government now accepts scores from a range of other tests for the first time in 10 years. Pearson PTE Academic, Toefl and Cambridge English Advanced are among the tests now accepted.